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AmTech: 3G for iPhone is 'niche technology'

updated 10:20 am EST, Mon December 17, 2007

3G iPhone is 'niche tech'

Although a 3G iPhone has been guaranteed for 2008, its importance has been overrated, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. HSPA 3G is intermittent in Europe and Japan, Wu says, let alone in the United States; so while the technology can offer speeds up to 3.6Mbps (through the likes of AT&T), users end up defaulting to 2G technologies such as EDGE most of the time. 3G also comes with increased costs: parts such as power amplifiers may add as much as $15 to the price of building a phone, an amount that may then be saddled onto the backs of shoppers.

As Apple itself and other analysts have noted, 3G is additionally a sharp drain on batteries, consuming between 35 to 40 percent more power than standard data access. Apple is unlikely to implement 3G until it can provide as much battery life as the current iPhone.

Wu says that based on information from supply chains, a 3G iPhone will only ship in the middle of 2008 at the earliest, possibly later as demands dictate. In the meantime, Apple stock is expected to continue increasing within the next six to 12 months, reaching a target value of $210.

by MacNN Staff




  1. TigerN28763

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone EDGE & Shaw Wu

    EDGE would be great if ATT actually offered that almost anywhere I go. I have talked to ATT numerous times and finally spoke to a 2nd level tech who said that virtually all of Central Pennsylvania and North-central New Jersey are NOT EDGE but actually GPRS. They could not find a single place where I do business that has EDGE. I'd LOVE to have even EDGE. WHERE IS IT????

    I cannot believe ATT actually said that their polls show iPhone owners are satisfied with the data speeds they currently receive. What a joke.

    If I did not love the phone so much, I would not put up with waiting minutes for web pages to appear. I'm just glad most of my clients have WiFi, but on the road, I'm always stuck with GPRS.

    Over rating is an understatement of speed by ATT.


    Joined: Dec 1969



    Did I miss the Apple announcement of a 3G iPhone? Must have since its now a "guarantee".

    And I am very happy with my data speeds.

    To the poster above, so you have no "E" inside the blue box. It was my understanding that the network did not allow GRPS access with the iPhone. Heck, before 1.1.2 the iPhone itself did not allow it. It was done so for the Euro countries were Edge really is thin.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: huh?

    Did I miss the Apple announcement of a 3G iPhone? Must have since its now a "guarantee".

    Well, the head of AT&T said it would be available in 2008. Sounds like a guarantee. And I believe Jobs also stated as much earlier this year.

  1. aesculanus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    come again?

    "HSPA 3G is intermittent in Europe and Japan, Wu says"

    And Wu is a god damn moron talking out of his a**. All 3 of Japan's major carriers (Softbank, DoCoMo, and AU) operate networks that are EXCLUSIVELY 3G. Softbank and DoCoMo are 2100 UMTS WCDMA, and AU is 800/1900 CDMA/EVDO. On top of that, over 90% of subscriber's handsets on AU are 3G, and about half of current susbscribers on DoCoMo/Softbank have HSDPA capable phones.

    There is no GSM in Japan. Anywhere.

    And it's HSDPA, not HSPA. Idiot discredits anything else he has to say right there.

  1. neondiet

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HSDPA not HSPA

    I'm pretty sure the article and tags are incorrect. It should read HSDPA, not HSPA. Current plans for HSPA mobile networks start at 42Mbits/sec, and we're a long way from seeing networks and phones that support that today.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The iPhone needs 3G...

    because it's fashionable to have it whether it's useful or not. When the 3G iPhone hits the streets and the talk time is decreased even slightly, there'll be a lot of moaning and groaning. Then the people will also ask why it doesn't have GPS or Bluetooth stereo. It'll always be something.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wu is an idiot

    Here in AU we have something in the order of 99% 3G coverage for the entire countries population, and thats a landmass same size as the US.

    Idiot comments that 3G is niche ... I think he must want to generate hits

  1. bp2k7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wow, what a moron.

    My Blackjack II is ALWAYS in a 3G area here in DC as well as the other cities i've used it in (Portland, OR, and Dallas). It has never had to be on EDGE. I also use the internet HEAVILY and the battery life is the best of any phone I've ever owned. So needless to say, I'm a proponent of 3G in the iPhone.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    of course a faster network is important. I use the LG Voyager for that reason. nokia n95 is popular for that reason despite a trade off in price and battery.

  1. nickgold2012

    Joined: Dec 1969



    too bad iPhone is already technically 3G (yes, AT&T's EDGE implementation meets the base 3G bandwidth requirement) and at the VERY least can be considered 2.75G. It's definitely not 2G, heck, even GPRS is 2.5G, EDGE is usually considered 2.75G, and AT&T's EDGE is very fast for EDGE, and crosses the 3G barrier. Would a Mbit down be nice, yes, but I can wait for batteries and faster chipsets to improve efficiency. Yes I own an iPhone, yes I love it, web pages do NOT take "minutes" to load. Safari renders pages so quickly, in such a usable format, I challenge folks to a "bake-off" which determines how quickly you can actually dig up information on iPhone versus a "true" 3G smartphone with craptastic browser...

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